Things Farmers Just Know

As in every industry, there is a huge list of scientific and home-grown know-how farmers must have to succeed.  Here is a short list of a few of those skills.  Share them with your non-farm friends!  They’re certain to get a conversation going.

Here are a few of the things that a farmer just knows:

-what crops to plant, and when, for optimum yields, given highly variable soils, precipitation, the varies of Mother Nature and a global market

-how many seeds to plant per acre in order to produce the thousands of plants to produce the optimum desired yield

-when and how much fertilizer or manure to apply per acre for optimum crop yield

-how to calibrate a manure spreader, so that the manure spreads evenly over the entire field, and doesn’t glop it all in one pile

-how to accurately apply pesticides and fertilizers with a 60 to 120 foot wide sprayer boom

-how to keep all the hundreds of moving parts working in concert in order to enable a combine from losing even a single grain of grain

-how to design, build, maintain and fix nearly everything on the farm, from water troughs and gates to tractors, the weed eater and his wife’s car

-how to measure moisture content and nutritional value of grain, hay and other crops which he has grown

-exactly when to harvest each crop for maximum yield and nutrient value

-how to control grain-dryer temperatures and fan speed to preserve grain quality in storage

-when and how to prepare just-harvested fields for next year’s crop

-how to move around a cow, horse, sheep or hog, or any other farm animal

-how to move an animal forward or back, left or right, simply by his posture or the shift of his weight

-what a sheep’s “baaa” means from a hundred yards away

-what trouble smells and sounds like even before entering the barn

-to be on call for when a mamma-to-be may need help lambing, calving, farrowing or foaling

-how to assist in a difficult birth, and how to care for newborns

-how to formulate animal nutrition plans for each animal, from birth to elder care

-how to produce enough food and income for a full year for his family to live

-how to shoulder a season’s disappointment, while foreseeing potential in the next

-planning for his children and their children, to take the reins of his beloved and hard earned farming operation

These are just a few of the things that a farmer just knows.






-Western Farmer-Stockman, December, 2015

This entry was posted in Ag Production, Education, Farm Families, Farmers, Feeding the World, For Kids, Other Topics, Ranchers, Women in Agriculture, Young Farmers and Ranchers and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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